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7 "Harry Potter" Changes That Altered The Series Forever

JK Rowling made more cuts than a Sectumsempra curse.

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1. Arthur Weasley died in The Order of the Phoenix.

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Nagini's attack on Arthur left him deader than dead in the first draft of the book, but Rowling felt so bad about the decision to off the best father figure in the series that she gave everyone's favorite Muggle sympathizer a reprieve. Instead she switched his fate to Lupin and Tonks in The Deathly Hallows. Because that's much nicer.

2. Hermione Puckle and her father found Harry as a baby.

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Hermione Granger was once Hermione Puckle. In this version of the story, the Potters lived on an island when Voldemort found them (not in Godric's Hollow) and the Puckles lived on the mainland, close enough to see the Potters' house explode. Hermione's father rescued Harry from the wreckage and brought him home.

3. Rita Skeeter was a Slytherin first year Weasley cousin named Mafalda Prewett.

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Making her debut in The Goblet of Fire, Mafalda would have been a mental match for Hermione Granger, with all of the wits but fewer morals. She would have wandered through Hogwarts and collected gossip like a magical Gretchen Wieners. When Rowling couldn't figure out exactly how an eleven year old girl would learn all of Hogwarts' secrets, she replaced Mafalda with Rita the beetle.

4. Ron died.

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Halfway through the series Rowling wanted to show that not even the trio was safe, but she quickly realized she could never kill poor Ron. George R. R. Martin giggled in his sleep.

5. Theodore Nott proved not all Slytherins hex puppies for fun.

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Rowling originally wrote a chapter between Draco and Theodore where they talked about the rumors behind the Death Eaters and Harry Potter. Theodore would have been a refreshing take on Slytherin; the boy had the ambition and the pureblood background, but would have shied away from the darker acts of his Slytherin peers and created the opportunity for a Slytherin ally later on. However, Rowling never really found a place for the chapter, and Theodore was left in the dungeons.

6. Dean Thomas had his own plot line.

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Dean's wizard father left Dean's Muggle mother to protect them from the Death Eaters, who demanded his father join their cause. His father refused and unsurprisingly died. Dean grew up like any other Muggle boy would until his Hogwarts letter arrived. Over the course of the books he would have discovered his family's history for himself as his character arc took Neville's place (Dean was even with the trio when they found Fluffy in The Sorcerer's Stone).

7. Lily and James Potter played a much bigger role in The Sorcerer's Stone.

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The first book followed Harry's parents as they stole the Philosopher's Stone, which is how they originally came into their great wealth. But Rowling changed the focus to Harry, and the rest was his story.

Bonus: Dudley had a wizard son.

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Dudley would have made a cameo at Platform 9 3/4 in The Deathly Hallows' epilogue to see his son off to Hogwarts, but Rowling decided no magic could survive contact with the Dursley's blood. And nobody was shocked.

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